Community Feed

  • FREE Rooftop or balcony gardens

    Apr 07, 2018

    The Downtown Vancouver BIA wants to help your business become more sustainable. Through a partnership with local start-up MyGreenSpace we are offering a limited supply of garden kits and 1 hour workshops on how to use them.
     

    • Grow food for the office
    • Add greenery to your outdoor space
    • Improve air quality
    • Reduce rain run-off

    Kit includes:

    • Cedar planter (locally sourced, locally made) – floor or raised styles available
    • Soil and seeds (organic)
    • Free delivery
    • 1-hour workshop at your office lead by a My Green Space Founder (first 6 businesses to respond)
    • How to set up your garden
    • Into to the My Green Space support app

    Eligibility:

    • You are a DVBIA member business
    • Your business has outdoor space for a kit (patio, balcony, rooftop)

    Claim yours now - First come, first serve!
    Express your interest in a planter kit by e-mail to harpreet@mygreenspace.co
    Include the name and address of your business in your initial e-mail.

  • Capture Photography Festival this month

    Apr 07, 2018



    Capture Photography Festival
    runs from April 3-29, and includes a lot of activations that will take place in the downtown Vancouver core.

    Launched in 2013, the annual not-for-profit Festival strives to nurture emerging talent, engage community, and spark public dialogue about photography as an art form and a vessel for communication.

    Each April, photography is presented at dozens of galleries and community spaces throughout Greater Vancouver as part of the Festival’s Selected and Open Exhibition Programs, alongside an extensive Public Art Program and an Events Program that spans tours, films, artist talks, and community events.

    There will be a free community “photowalk” to take place on Saturday April 28th from 1-3 with Street Dreams Magazine. Participants will follow a group of dancers from Arts Umbrella around the downtown core for the opportunity to photograph them.

    Additionally, there will be a year-long public art installation of the BC Hydro Dal Grauer Substation – “In the Belly of a Cat”.

  • Cherry Blossom Fest is back!

    Apr 07, 2018



    The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival non-profit society was founded in 2005 and led by a dedicated board of directors, supported by its launch partner, the Vancouver Board of Trade as a Spirit of Vancouver initiative. With their help, the first Festival was produced in 2006, and in 2007, formal recognition of the Festival’s objectives qualified it for charitable status.

    The Cherry Blossom Fest objectives included public education through seasonal, cherry themed, city wide viewing programs, musical performances, and fine art and craft exhibitions. The DVBIA is a proud sponsor of the Festival.

    Check out the calendar of events by visiting vcbf.ca

  • DVBIA IN THE NEWS

    Apr 07, 2018

    The Downtown Vancouver BIA is regularly featured in the news, advocating on behalf of our member businesses and showcasing initiatives that help bring our forward-thinking vision for downtown Vancouver to life. Here’s where we were featured in the month of March.

    • City Councillor wants Robson Square roadway reopened to traffic Daily Hive

    • Parking taxes in Vancouver Steele Talk CKNW

    • At nearly 30%, could parking taxes drive business out of downtown Vancouver? Global BC

    • Junos drop into Vancouver, send music-biz ripples around the city Vancouver Sun

    • For some, Vancouver’s nightlife is a nightmare. Could the solution be a ‘Night Mayor?’ Global BC

    • Vancouver’s second 30Network Innovation Lab launches civic engagement sessions Business in Vancouver
  • Utility wrap artist call

    Apr 05, 2018



    The City of Vancouver is looking for artists to create digitized vinyl designs for up to 30 utility boxes throughout the city! The box wraps are intended to support artistic excellence and innovation while enlivening the cityscape.
     
    Application deadline is April 25th, 2018, guidelines can be found online.
    For more information, please visit the website:
    vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/utility-wrap-artist-call.aspx

  • Granville Street spotlight: Adidas

    Apr 05, 2018



    For this month’s spotlight on a Granville Street business, we caught up with Paul Simons, the manager of Granville’s Adidas store. Have a read to learn why they landed on Granville Street and what we can expect next from the location!

    1. First off, tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started with Adidas.
     
    I started with adidas in 2005. I’ve always had an affinity for footwear and based on its history, adidas has always been my preferred sports brand. The opportunity came up through a friend in the business and I couldn’t say no. It’s been an amazing ride ever since.
     


    2. Now tell us about your business – how does the Adidas brand remain strong?

     
    adidas literally has something for everyone. Within our Originals brand we have classics such as the Stan Smith and Superstar models, as well as apparel like the Beckenbauer track suit that people have been wearing for over 40 years. We also have new “heritage inspired” designs (new products that take design cues from the classics) like the NMD, Prophere and the recently launched Deerupt. It’s a great balance between timeless classics and cutting edge innovation. That’s what is really pushing things forward right now.
     
    The Sports Performance brand caters to athletes of all levels. We really strive to find items for our customers that will help them perform better at whatever they are doing. From the casual athlete to the professional we’ve got you covered!



    3. Why did Adidas choose to locate on Granville Street?

     
    Granville Street is constantly evolving and reinventing itself which keeps things exciting. It’s a main artery through downtown Vancouver, not to mention it’s amazing neon past. When adidas is  scouting locations for inline stores they typically search in areas just of the main strip but with a vibrant feeling, Granville street is definitely that! The adidas Originals store here in Vancouver was actually the first inline adidas store opened in Canada.
     


    4. What can we expect next from your store and the Adidas brand?

     
    Lot’s of exciting things! Many many more big product launches and events that highlight the collaborative nature of the adidas brand, while showcasing local creative talents within our city. Our Sports Performance store is getting a new façade to match the newly renovated Originals store, they should reopen sometime in June. We’ve got World Cup coming up too so there’s lots of things happening!

  • Help shape the City’s single-use item strategy

    Apr 04, 2018


    Are you a small business owner?

    You can attend a small business consultation meeting on April 11th to help the City of Vancouver shape their single-use item strategy!
    Owners of small businesses that distribute single-use items are invited to attend a consultation meeting to discuss the draft strategy with City staff. Translation services will be available upon request.

    Location:    

    • 511 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC

    Dates:        

    • April 11, 2018: 9:00 am – 10:30 am
    • April 11, 2018: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

    Register: Call 3-1-1 to register in English, or (604) 829-9500 if you require translation. Registrations are due by April 9, 2018. Presentations will be given in English so please indicate on the call if you require translation services at the meeting.

    Provide feedback online: Residents who are unable to attend the open house event can review the draft strategy online and provide feedback through an online comment form.

    More details are online here

  • YMCA Youth Employment Bootcamp Program

    Mar 29, 2018


    Who knew, the YMCA offers a range of Employment and Work Ready Programs that serve the local community?! They're gearing up for another year of training programs and in search of local businesses that are looking to recruit! Some of the benefits they offer employers are:

    • A wage subsidy reimbursement of $8.00 per hour, provided by the Federal Government for up to 30hrs per week (12 weeks total)
    • An assessment of the job seekers interests and experience made previous to the interview to ensure the candidates fits with the needs of your business
    • Interview process, allowing employers to meet with the candidate and assess the potential fit
    • On the job support provided to both the employer and participant
    • Supporting participants to gain valuable skills, experience and relationships

    What do others from DVBIA think of our services?

    "Working with the YMCA to find the right candidate for our growing company was a dream come true. It has been the easiest recruitment experience we've had to date, and the level of support around on-boarding, training and additional education was beyond anything I could have imagined. I can't stop referring my friends to the YMCA when I hear them say they're looking to grow their team!"-Jennifer Kobelt, UpMedia

    If you have hiring needs this year they'd love to hear from you. Please contact Elly Roper, Job Developer at Robert Lee YMCA: 604-673-6194

  • DVBIA going even greener with Bullfrog

    Mar 11, 2018


    We are proud to announce that we’re going even greener! The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) is the first business improvement association in Canada to power their offices with Bullfrog Power, Canada’s leading green energy provider. DVBIA joins the growing number of Canadian organizations supporting green energy across Canada with Bullfrog Power.

    “The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association has made the environment an essential part of our commitment to sustainability,” said DVBIA Board Chair, Dani Pretto “That is why we are proud to be partnering with Bullfrog Power to support renewable energy for our downtown Vancouver office.”

    Through the agreement, Bullfrog Power’s producers put green electricity and green natural gas onto the grid and pipeline to match the amount of conventional electricity and natural gas that the DVBIA’s facilities use. Across Canada, Bullfrog’s green electricity comes from a blend of wind and low-impact hydro power sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities. Bullfrog’s green natural gas is sourced from a unique methane-capture project situated on one of Canada’s landfill sites. Bullfrog also uses the support of its customers to help fund new community-based green energy projects across Canada.

    Speaking to the DVBIA’s sustainability goals, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said, “I’m thrilled and grateful that the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association made the smart choice to partner with Bullfrog Power and become the first BIA in the country to switch to Bullfrog’s renewable energy to power its operations.” The Mayor went on to note, “Vancouver is leading all other Canadian cities on the green energy front, and the DVBIA’s choice to go renewable with its energy needs is an example of one of many simple, yet impactful actions local businesses and organizations can take to help us achieve our greenest city and 100 per cent renewable goals.”

    In addition to choosing green energy with Bullfrog Power, the DVBIA has four sustainability milestones, which include:

    • Locals and business support arts and culture

    • Network of ecologically vibrant green space

    • Partners and businesses adopt sustainability practices in operations as they relate to waste reduction and energy consumption

    • Downtown stakeholders are educated and supported in social, cultural, economic and environmental sustainability

    “We are excited to welcome the DVBIA to the bullfrogpowered community,” said Anthony Santilli, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Bullfrog Power. “By choosing green electricity and green natural gas, the Downtown Vancouver BIA is helping to reduce our dependence on polluting forms of energy and transition Canada to renewable energy sources.”

  • St. Patrick’s Day – March 17, 2018

    Mar 11, 2018


    It’s almost St. Paddy’s Day, which means it’s time to don your greenest apparel and head to the pub for a pint of green beer. Looking for the ideal Irish destination? Granville Street has got you covered. Read on for more information!

    Irish Pubs on Granville

    Other Granville hot spots that will be embracing the St. Patrick’s Day spirit:

  • Download the laneway learning guide

    Mar 11, 2018



    More Awesome Now is a pilot group and program that takes existing, underutilized laneways and reshapes them into engaging public spaces that are accessible by everyone and contribute to the livelihood of the city. It is an experimental approach to urban design that reshapes these existing laneways in areas such as the financial, entertainment, and fashion districts into animated pedestrian zones that complement the already-thriving micro-cultures of these areas.

    Reimagining and reconfiguring these utilitarian corridors as vibrant recreational, commercial, and performance spaces injects a new type of fine grain activity into the urban commons, increasing the public pedestrian area of the city by as much as 30 per cent. Over time, this could develop into a robust network of interconnected lanes, each with its own sense of place and continually-evolving identity.

    Our Laneways Learning Guide is now available online for anyone to view and download. Now anyone can take action and make Vancouver more awesome with an inventive and impactful laneway! To download your copy, please click here.

     

  • Granville Spotlight: BrainStation

    Mar 11, 2018



    Kyle Treleaven gave us the 4-1-1 on another of Granville Street’s gems: BrainStation.

    1. First off, tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started with BrainStation.
     
    I was born in Ontario, grew up in Whistler, went to college in Victoria and now call Vancouver home. Through that journey, technology was always a fascination of mine but I never took it seriously as growing up in Whistler was about playing in the mountains. However, it was in Whistler that I was given an opportunity that put me on the path of pursuing a career in technology. To begin with, I was always on the growth teams, either sitting with the Marketing team or on the Sales team. Through those experiences, I started to really pay attention to User Experience and how customers engaged with online products. Which led me to focus on e-commerce as creating a good UX experience with the right brand message showed results from the efforts. It was really rewarding and challenging, so I focused on e-commerce for about 6 years which took me to an Info Session at BrainStation. I had hit a ceiling of what I had self-taught myself and I wanted to take my skills to the next level, so I actually attended the first ever Info Session that BrainStation had in Vancouver. That day started my journey with BrainStation and 2 years later launching the 20,000 sq. ft. campus at Granville and Pender.



    2. Now tell us about your business – what is BrainStation, and what is the key to its success?


    BrainStation is a global leader in digital skills training, empowering individuals and organizations to achieve digital success through courses, workshops, events and corporate training. We have an amazing community throughout North America with a Campus in New York and Costa Rica of students, educators and thought leaders that all feed off each other. We foster an ecosystem of knowledge sharing, mentorship, and empowerment in an accessible and inclusive campus located in the heart of Vancouver.



    3. Why did you choose to locate on Granville Street?


    Granville Street has a long history and the building has an interesting past of tech companies like Bench, Unbounce, and BuildDirect once calling it home. We wanted a space that created an environment that is focused on the students and helping them achieve their learning goals. Accessibility was also a focus and being next to Waterfront Station was a perfect fit.  We needed a location that fits our sibling companies as well, which is Konrad Group Consulting, Techvibes and Quantum Coffee.

    4. What’s next for your business – any plans for changes or expansion?

    This Summer we are expanding within our building as we will be launching a Data Science Career Transformation course. We look to continue to have thought leaders in our classrooms and events with some amazing panels this Summer so I hope to see you join our Community!

    https://brainstation.io/contact

  • In the News

    Mar 11, 2018



    The Downtown Vancouver BIA is regularly featured in the news, advocating on behalf of our member businesses and showcasing initiatives that help bring our forward-thinking vision for downtown Vancouver to life. Here’s where we were featured in the month of February.

    • Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association first BIA to sign on for green energy with Bullfrog Power  | Hello Vancity

    • Vancouver councillor seeks changes, even cameras, on Granville strip | Vancouver Sun

    • Councillor tables motion to tame Vancouver's 'negative and chaotic' Granville strip | CBC

    • Vancouver councillor puts forward motion on Granville Street safety | Global BC

    • Vancouver councillor wants safety changes to Granville Street | Metro Vancouver

    • City approves much-needed, 24-storey office tower downtown | VanCourier

    • City Councillor wants Robson Square roadway reopened to traffic | DailyHive



  • WIN TICKETS TO TREVOR NOAH OR JO KOY

    Mar 01, 2018

    JFL NorthWest, Vancouver’s comedy festival, returns for a third year of hilarity from March 1 to 10, 2018 at multiple venues across Vancouver. A 10-day winter highlight, the Festival is a blend of the best in stand-up, sketch, and improv.

    Enter now and you could win two tickets to see Jo Koy on March 7th, 7pm or Trevor Noah on March 9th, at 7pm, both of which are currently sold out!! Both shows will be at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The contest closes March 5th at 9:00 am PST.

    HOW TO ENTER:

    1. Like our Instagram page @DowntownVan (1 entry)

    2. Follow us on twitter @DowntownVan (1 entry)

    3. Tweet us @DowntownVan or comment on our JFL NorthWest Facebook post and tell us which show you want to go to (2 entries)

    4. Tag us in a photo in our laneway Alley-Oop or a Downtown Vancouver Perch space (4 entries)

  • The return of the Urban Grind

    Feb 18, 2018



    Looking to kick-start your fitness, connect with friends and colleagues, or get ready for the upcoming hiking season? You’re in luck, because this March will mark the return of Harbour Centre’s Urban Grind! Vancouverites are invited to get their heart rates up by climbing the stairs to the iconic Vancouver Lookout.

    The Urban Grind comes with some great perks. Participants will be rewarded at the top with a stunning 360º aerial view of Vancouver, a refreshing beer, and DJ entertainment. Climbers have the ability to customize their workout by completing the route as many times as they like during the allotted time. Additionally, every participant will receive a $5 Harbour Centre Food Court voucher to redeem at any of the Food Court vendors on site.

    Where:
    The Vancouver Lookout, 555 West Hastings street

    When:
    Every Tuesday in March (March 6, 13, 20, and 27), 4:30-6:30pm

    For more info, please visit vancouverlookout.com/events/urban-grind/

  • LANEWAY LEARNING GUIDE NOW AVAILABLE

    Feb 12, 2018



    More Awesome Now is a pilot group and program that takes existing, underutilized laneways and reshapes them into engaging public spaces that are accessible by everyone and contribute to the livelihood of the city. It is an experimental approach to urban design that reshapes these existing laneways in areas such as the financial, entertainment, and fashion districts into animated pedestrian zones that complement the already-thriving micro-cultures of these areas.

    Reimagining and reconfiguring these utilitarian corridors as vibrant recreational, commercial, and performance spaces injects a new type of fine grain activity into the urban commons, increasing the public pedestrian area of the city by as much as 30 per cent. Over time, this could develop into a robust network of interconnected lanes, each with its own sense of place and continually-evolving identity.

    We recently created a Laneways Learning Guide so that anyone can take action and make Vancouver more awesome! To get your hands on a copy, please email Tara Gloster, DVBIA’s Placemaking Lead, at tara@downtownvancouver.net.

  • WE’RE TURNING 28!

    Feb 12, 2018


    On February 19th, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association turns 28! Who knew that the DVBIA was a millennial?

    There have been so many amazing memories throughout these 28 years; from seasonal favourites like our summer perches and the Christmas Market to epic events like the Winter Olympics in 2010 and TED’s 2014 conference at the Convention Centre, we’ve had a lot of fun. We hope you will celebrate with us by sharing your favourite downtown Vancouver memories. Tweet them to @DowntownVan, mention us on Instagram @DowntownVan, or tag us on Facebook!

  • HERE COMES CHERRY BLOSSOM FEST

    Feb 08, 2018



    Whether a native to Vancouver or merely here for a brief visit, we all rush. To work, to the bus, to shop, to appointments, hardly pausing to catch our breath. Once a year Vancouver’s cherry blossoms call out to us to slow down, stop to notice and appreciate their fleeting beauty, reminding us all of the fragility of our own lives. 

    “And when spring hits downtown Vancouver, we really have something to sing about” Linda Poole, Executive Director Vancouver Cherry Blossom Fest (VCBF). When Poole discovered the perfect haiku by Oz Hershfield of Vancouver, she was inspired to create another new free event for the Festival: Vancouver Sings One Song.

    blossoms bursting
    each tree is a choir
    singing to the sun


    Music’s in the air with Vancouver hosting the 2018 JUNO Awards, and there’s an opportunity for YOU to sing in Vancouver’s landmark church, Christ Church Cathedral on Tuesday April 3, 6:30pm to 9:30pm. Register online by February 23rd to join hundreds of voices and be part of VCBF’s massed choir civic event. The wonderfully inspiring conductor, Kathryn Nicholson (with host choir Sound Eclectic) will teach you the Festival Songbook including the Festival’s original new song “Cherry Blossoms For You & Me.” composed by JUNO award winning artist Tom Landa and Robin Layne. Sign up by February 23 to receive an event t-shirt compliments of Haiku Invitational program sponsor, Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd. at eventbrite.ca/e/vancouver-sings-one-song-vsos-tickets-39940687672. Once you learn “Cherry Blossoms for You and Me” you’re sure to be inspired to join Pop-Up Choirs to sing to our cherry blossoms at other Festival events.

    Along with presenting Festival sponsors Coromandel Properties and the Vancouver Board of Trade, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association is proud to also present the Festival’s free concert, Cherry Jam Downtown under Burrard Skytrain Station’s spectacular akebono cherry trees, Thursday April 5 from noon to 1:30pm featuring great local talent.

    The Festival’s Sakura Night Gala, presented by McMillan LLP, will feature two talented chefs from downtown Vancouver: Chef de Cuisine, Will Lew from Hotel Vancouver’s Notch8 and Executive Chef, Ken Nakano from Shangri-La Hotel’s Market by Jean-Georges. Both chefs will showcase their Japanese culinary creations on April 22 at Stanley Park Pavilion.  You can reserve tickets now at the Early Bird Price by visiting vcbf.ca/community-event/sakura-night for this glamorous exclusive evening.

    For Mandarin speakers wanting to learn all about the heritage of our city’s cherry tree heritage, meet Joseph Lin for Tree Talks & Walks Downtown Coal Harbour in the Hyatt Regency Hotel lobby 655 Burrard Street for 10am Saturday March 31. This date is to be confirmed when the downtown cherries come into bloom. Sunday April 1, Wendy Cutler leads a festive Easter Tree Talks & Walks with song accompanied by ukuleles, starting off at Burrard SkyTrain Station at 1:30pm.

    The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival gratefully acknowledges the sustaining support of founding sponsor, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. We look forward to celebrating spring with you downtown. Check out Neighborhood Maps to see exactly where the cherry trees bloom downtown and for full Festival information visit vcbf.ca/









  • CHANGING LIVES, BUILDING FUTURES

    Feb 07, 2018



    Since its inception in 2008, Streetohome has contributed more than $31M from the private sector to leverage a variety of projects and programs including 1335 units of supportive housing, the Vancouver Rent Bank, WorkWithUs and Supporting Tenants, Enabling Pathways. 

    Since employment provides marginalized individuals a broadened social network, a sense of belonging, and an opportunity to participate more fully in society, the foundation is facilitating entry into the workforce by matching individuals with employment opportunities that align with their capabilities and preferences. If you’re a business owner, you can get involved with this very important cause by visiting http://wwufoundation.org/.

    We caught up with Rob Turnbull, President & CEO of Streetohome Foundation, and asked him some questions about the great work that the Foundation is involved in right now.

    Q: How did you come up with your employment programs?

    Streetohome’s initial focus of its 10-year plan was on building supportive housing for those who were homeless or at risk of homeless. Since 2008, we have raised more than $31 million from the private sector and leveraged additional resources to build 1,335 homes for single adults, couples, youth and families. Living in stable housing with adequate supports provides a solid foundation for becoming a contributing member of society, but people also need help to address their healthcare and employment needs. Recently, Streetohome has turned its attention to brokering and leveraging employment and addiction recovery opportunities to prevent homelessness in the first place.

    Q: Why did you choose downtown Vancouver for your headquarters?

    Streetohome is located in the old Seymour Building. Aquilini Properties continues to donate the office lease as part of their contribution to solving homelessness in Vancouver. The generosity of Aquilini Properties is one of the reasons we are able to direct 100 percent of capital donations to housing and homelessness prevention programs.  We are very lean, with three staff, and fund our modest operations through separate donations.

    Being downtown was important early on as many of our supportive housing projects were located in the Downtown Eastside. It continues to be ideal to be able to walk a prospective donor from the office to a building and show them how they are able to change lives and build futures. Over the years we have contributed to supportive housing buildings outside the Downtown Eastside and across the City of Vancouver as homelessness has no borders.  

    Q: How do you see downtown Vancouver business owners interacting with your programs?

    Streetohome has partnered with TPD, an international Workforce and HR Solutions company, to launch WorkWithUs – a new non-profit staffing agency which will match individuals seeking employment with employers. WorkWithUs is currently collaborating with businesses that are looking for a unique way to contribute to their community and, at the same time, meet their workforce needs. We have employees who are ready and highly-motivated to re-enter the workplace. For more information on how Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) members can become involved, please visit the WorkWithUs website at
    http://wwufoundation.org/ or call 604.409.4090.






    For more information about Streetohome Foundation, please visit streetohome.org

  • DVBIA IN THE NEWS

    Feb 06, 2018

    The Downtown Vancouver BIA is regularly featured in the news, advocating on behalf of our member businesses and showcasing initiatives that help bring our forward-thinking vision for downtown Vancouver to life.

    • Exclusive bike lane in cards for Cambie Bridge if council OKs it | Vancouver Sun
    • CTV viewers demand Vancouver close Robson Square illegal drug market | CTV News
    • How to make delicious Italian arancini | Global BC
    • Vancouver police shut down illegal pot market in Robson Square | CKNW with Simi Sara
    • Vancouver Police Reportedly Cracking Down On Pop-Up Pot Shops | Huffington Post
    • Robson Square not working as friendly public space: BIA | Vancouver Courier
    • Robson Square | CBC Radio
    • Local businesses rethink Robson Square plans after police raid marijuana market | CBC
    • With the 420 Farmers Market Shut Down, what are the plans for Robson Square | CKNW, Steele Talk
    • Vancouver’s NPA won’t win support by opposing cycling infrastructure | Globe and Mail
    • The plan for northeast False Creek after the viaducts come down is going before council | Global BC

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